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Correctional facilities

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State Responses to Mass Incarceration

June, 2011

Researchers have devoted considerable attention to mass incarceration, specifically its magnitude, costs, and collateral consequences. In the face of economic constraints, strategies to reduce correctional populations while maintaining public safety are becoming a fiscal necessity. This panel will present strategies that states have undertaken to reduce incarceration rates while balancing taxpayer costs with ensuring public safety.

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders

June, 2009

The panel presentations from the 2009 NIJ Conference are based on an NIJ-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, which mandates community-based drug abuse treatment for drug possession by nonviolent offenders in lieu of prison. 

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders

June, 2009

The panel presentations from the 2009 NIJ Conference are based on an NIJ-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, which mandates community-based drug abuse treatment for drug possession by nonviolent offenders in lieu of prison. 

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders

June, 2009

The panel presentations from the 2009 NIJ Conference are based on an NIJ-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, which mandates community-based drug abuse treatment for drug possession by nonviolent offenders in lieu of prison. 

Cell Phones in Prison

June, 2010

Criminals are using cell phones illegally in prisons and jails to conduct their business and intimidate witnesses. Although technology solutions to this problem are available, they can create new challenges, such as legal and implementation issues associated with cell phone use in correctional facilities. Panelists will discuss various aspects to consider from how prisoners use cell phones, to day-to-day and operational aspects, to legal and regulatory concerns.

Cell Phones in Prison

June, 2010

Criminals are using cell phones illegally in prisons and jails to conduct their business and intimidate witnesses. Although technology solutions to this problem are available, they can create new challenges, such as legal and implementation issues associated with cell phone use in correctional facilities. Panelists will discuss various aspects to consider from how prisoners use cell phones, to day-to-day and operational aspects, to legal and regulatory concerns.

Situational Approaches to Making Communities and Correction Institutions Safer

June, 2010

NIJ Conference panelists will present the results of three studies that applied situational crime prevention (SCP) principles: (1) an evaluation of the Safe City initiative in Chula Vista, Calif., designed to combine the expertise and resources of local law enforcement, retailers and the community to increase the safety of designated retail areas; (2) a randomized controlled trial (in partnership with the Washington Metro Transit Police) that assessed the effectiveness of SCP to reduce car crime in Metro's parking facilities; and (3) an evaluation of the impact of SCP on pr

What Works in Offender Supervision

June, 2009

This NIJ Conference Panel highlights findings from NIJ projects that evaluated strategies to enhance the supervision of offenders in the community. Researchers discuss the effectiveness of fair, swift and certain sanctions for high-risk probationers in the Hawaii HOPE program. Panelists also provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of electronic monitoring — including the use of GPS tracking — for medium- and high-risk offenders on supervision and upon completion of their supervision sentence.

What Works in Offender Supervision

June, 2009

This NIJ Conference Panel highlights findings from NIJ projects that evaluated strategies to enhance the supervision of offenders in the community. Researchers discuss the effectiveness of fair, swift and certain sanctions for high-risk probationers in the Hawaii HOPE program. Panelists also provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of electronic monitoring — including the use of GPS tracking — for medium- and high-risk offenders on supervision and upon completion of their supervision sentence.

What Works in Offender Supervision

June, 2009

This NIJ Conference Panel highlights findings from NIJ projects that evaluated strategies to enhance the supervision of offenders in the community. Researchers discuss the effectiveness of fair, swift and certain sanctions for high-risk probationers in the Hawaii HOPE program. Panelists also provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of electronic monitoring — including the use of GPS tracking — for medium- and high-risk offenders on supervision and upon completion of their supervision sentence.

What Works in Offender Supervision

June, 2009

This NIJ Conference Panel highlights findings from NIJ projects that evaluated strategies to enhance the supervision of offenders in the community. Researchers discuss the effectiveness of fair, swift and certain sanctions for high-risk probationers in the Hawaii HOPE program. Panelists also provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of electronic monitoring — including the use of GPS tracking — for medium- and high-risk offenders on supervision and upon completion of their supervision sentence.

Director's Message: New Research Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2015

One of NIJ’s most crucial tasks as a science agency is making decisions about which research proposals to fund. I’m pleased to report that for fiscal year 2015, NIJ made over $156 million in grant awards to more than 210 research projects. These awards reflect NIJ’s commitment to funding rigorous research that helps practitioners and policymakers make criminal justice decisions based on sound scientific evidence.  

Contraband Detection and Control

Contraband in correctional facilities includes illegal items, such as drugs and weapons, or items prohibited in the area being monitored, such as cell phones. Prison staff needs to be able to detect and confiscate contraband quickly to prevent drug abuse, violence and the commission of further crimes.

Director's Message: Setting the Agenda for Administrative Segregation Research

For most of my academic life, I have had an interest in corrections issues, especially the impact of incarceration on families and communities. When I arrived at NIJ, I was excited to be part of a national effort to reform sentencing and incarceration policies, including the use of solitary confinement.

As the nation examines administrative segregation, NIJ’s role will be to do what we do best: 1) Support empirical assessments to improve our understanding of the issues and 2) translate findings so criminal justice professionals can make informed decisions.

Correctional Facilities

Institutional corrections facilities include prisons and jails. Prisons are state or federal housing facilities that confine convicted felons with sentences typically longer than a year. Jails are administered by local law enforcement and hold offenders​ with shorter sentences — usually for 1 year or less — and those awaiting trial.